Bristol is one of our favourite cities for a boogie, so when we heard that Love Saves the Day was coming around again we didn't think twice about heading on down. Unfortunately, with weather reports threatening rain and thunder we put on our favourite festival wellies and our most glamorous raincoats to prep for the worst that the UK weather could bring.
As we arrived at Eastville Park we could already hear the slow grumbles of bass and the masses slowly descended into the festival. We arrived to the main stage where the House Gospel Choir ensured proceedings got off to a glowing start. Their rambunctious energy had the crowd singing along to classic hits like Olive’s ‘You're Not Alone’. As the choir moved through the hits the sun began to crack through the midday clouds and the early signs were looking good.
With an urge for some funked-out beats we headed to see Denis Sulta playing on the centre stage. The peroxide-haired DJ was already in full flow and the crowd was packed out. With his box of soulful-rhythms the audience was more than willing to shimmy in all manner of styles. Sulta was in good spirit too as he rocked away in his booth and videoed the crowd he had whipped into a musical frenzy.
We needed some sustenance so headed for some tasty grub. There were some great choices on offer, but we predictably headed for anything with cheese, and the raclette stall gave us the best chips and cheese you’re likely to ever have at a festival.
With full bellies we then wandered over to the Brouhaha stage to catch Man Power. The English DJ and producer is known for his varied sound and his set here was no different. Hopping from techno to electronica and some more experimental sounds, the festival felt now well and truly underway. Next up we headed to see Tom Misch for some chilled tunes to match the increasingly good weather we were being treated to. On centre stage he performed hits like ‘Crazy Dream’ and we all sang along as Misch and his band swayed in approval.
If you don’t listen to some dub when you’re in Bristol then you haven’t really experienced the true culture of the city. With this in mind we marched over to the Teachings in Dub tent where the Abi-Shanti Soundsystem were pumping out seriously fat beats on their impressively stacked speaker setup. The bass levels ripped through the herd of people skanking amongst each other and sipping cold ciders.
One of our top picks for the weekend was Four Tet who was performing in the Paradiso tent, which was hosted by Crack Magazine. The London-born musician has become one of the most innovative and celebrated DJs in the world and his set surpassed even our highest hopes. Beginning with his blissful ‘Two Thousand and Seventeen’ he moved through and changed up the pace as he always does with such an effortless and deft touch, and he gave us a stunning way to see out the festival on day one.
We awoke Sunday ready for another day of high-class music and again assembled our outfits preparing for the rain that hadn’t fallen on Saturday. The early thunder had us worried, but ultimately would not deter us. There was still some of the festival site that we needed to explore so we grabbed some cold ones and mooched over to the Lost Gardens to sample what they had on offer. Moxie was on hand to get us into the flow of the day and we eased ourselves into proceedings.
Not far across was the Just Jack Caravan Club where the disco tunes were blaring out for the masses and we glided on over. The shimmering disco ball and smoke machine added all we needed to groove down and even the most weary of festival-goer was getting into the swing of day two.
Loyle Carner was performing next and he stood in front of his trademark number 7 red shirt emblazoned onto the stage's screen. Despite his favourite Liverpool football club missing out on champions league glory the night before he still brought the positivity as he rapped smoothly to his hits like ‘No CD’.
For a heavy finish we went to see one of the dons of drum and bass, Andy C. Under the cover of night the DJ was clearly in good spirits as he delivered some sure-fire bangers to the crowd. With MC Tonn Piper at this side the festival was finishing in pure euphoric style.
With bass in our bones and the urge for more we decided to head over to the official after party at Bristol’s best nightclub, Motion. The warehouse has recently upgraded its layout and setup, and we were fiercely impressed by the changes. First up on the agenda was Hot Since 82 who was playing b2b in the main room with Heidi. Both DJs delivered the high tempo energy that the filled out room wanted, and needed.
RUN were hosting the Marble Factory where the drum and bass was absolutely pumping. The likes of High Contrast and Lenzman were on hand and absolutely nailed it with some high-bass frequencies and hits.
As the morning light began to rear itself in the sky we knew that Love Saves the Day was now done for another year. Despite this, we were positive in the knowledge that we had two days full of exceptional music at a fantastically run festival, and with this in mind we felt a wave of satisfaction. If you missed out on the festival this year be sure you embrace the love next year.